Jointers and Planers, Oh my!

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Here goes, my first post...
I'm in the market for a jointer and a planer. I've searched the wreck archives and googled a bunch as well. I've narrowed down the field but still have a need for opinions.
First, the jointer. It seems that the creme-de-la-creme in the 6" field is the Powermatic 54A. Long, stout, cast iron beds and quality construction throughout. Three knife cutter head and TEFC motor. However, the price tag is quite high at $799. Next down the ladder is the Jet JJ-6CSX. Shorter cast iron beds, three knife cutter head... Price $599. Further down the ladder still is the Borg Special, Ridgid JP0610. Beds approx the same length as the Jet, three knife cutter, price $350. I've come from a background where the adage was, when in doubt look at the weight. Heavy makes better. The Powermatic wins hands down. However the Ridgid and the Jet are within 20% on weight. There also are some complicating factors to this that I will get to in a minute... Obviously the Powermatic is the first choice (if money and time was not a concern, but it is). Is the benefit of the Powermatic worth saving for a few extra months to get the Powermatic? For the lower two choices, would I be crazy to consider the Borg Special? Or is the Jet that much better quality?
Second the planer. I have read many favorable reviews about the DeWalt 735. Three knife cutter, robust build, quality results, dust collection ready. Priced at $499. However, right now on Amazon, they are touting $100 off your next purchase of Powermatic, Jet or Powermax when you purchase a qualified product. If I go with one of the top two jointer choices, I could apply the discount to the planer. Jet makes a 13 inch planer, JWD-13DX and retails for $419. However, it has a 2 knife cutter head, not dust collection ready. Is the three knife cutterhead on the DeWalt worth ignoring this discount?
Comments, concerns, flames?
Thanks Matt Beginning workdorker extrodinaire
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I now have both a planer and a jointer. My fist purchase was the planer and a little over a year later, a jointer.
I went with the DW735 13" planer because I felt it was well made, beefy and had fairly good reviews. I have planed quite a lot of walnut and oak. I like the disposable blades. When they first get dull you can flip them over. I am now on the first side of my second set. I have never had a problem with it, however, others have complained about sprocket problems. Mine was a fairly early model, having received it late September, 2003. Very little snipe, except when the rollers need cleaned or the knives got dull.
I got a jointer just last Christmas. I went with the Grizzly G1182Z 6 x 47 and ordered it on sale prior to the price increases. It has gotten some use and so far I am satisfied. I guess only time will tell. I went with price on this since I really didn't want to shell out a lot of money, since I have access to a DJ-30 (I also have access to a Delta 24" planer).
I'm not sure if this helps you at all.
Later,
-- Al Reid
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Thanks for the reply. I have been leaning towards th DeWalt, but most of the info I dug up was a little dated. SWMBO and I are looking at new-to-us houses and some need updating in the kitchen. SWMBO wants hardwood cabinets and I said that I could make them, cheaper / better than the Borg special orders (plus end up with a couple more tools for the shop).
I'll have to check the Grizzly out. I hadn't even considered them to this point.
Matt
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I feel comfortable with Grizzly. I got the G0555 14" bandsaw w/riser kit back in July 2003. I was initially a bit disappointed until I got some feedback from the group on tuning up the saw and I bought a good quality blade. From that point on I have been very happy with it. I home my luck is as good with the jointer.
--
Al Reid



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I went through this same process recently, but perhaps on a tighter budget. I ended up buying the Delta 37-275X X5 jointer and the 22-580 planer. Both of these were shipped for free, and after rebates the total cost for the pair was under $700 from Amazon. I'd looked at the Rigid pair, but I really don't like Home Depot and believe the Delta products are likely superior. They were also cheaper, since no sales tax was incurred.
Now, I must also admit that these are both still boxed in the garage. I hope to assembe and test this weekend. One thing I found interesting is that the Amazon prices change almost daily...I had these in my shopping cart for a few weeks (with some others) and one evening the price on the planer dropped $20 for a few hours, then went back up. If one was planing to buy from Amazon it might be worth setting up the Twocows price monitor (or a similar service) to notify you when prices fall below a set point.
-Kiwanda
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I've had a DeWalt DW735 for almost a year. Excellent machine. I've planed a lots of quilted, birdseye, and fiddleback maple, walnut, alder, various rosewoods, some figured koa, and some mahogany with excellent results. I run it at the lower feed rate. That lower feed rate (192 cuts per inch) is the primary reason I chose this model, since I deal with a lot of figured wood, and I've had zero problems with tear-out. I'm still on the first set of edges on the first set of blades, but it's about time to turn 'em around & use the second edge.
--Steve
Matt wrote:

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I have the DW735 as well and am very satisfied with it. For the money, it is a great machine. I was able to turn in some credit card points for a $500 Home Depot gift card, which I used to buy the planer (and which helped me clinch my decision to buy it). From another gift card I had from Xmas, I bought the mobile base, the extension wings, and the dust chute mechanism, all of which are great accessories. The mobile base is solid, and helps if you have limited space. While I had minimal snipe initially (with some practice), the extension wings (properly positioned on a very slight angle towards the main table) have essentially eliminated snipe, which is fairly amazing considering there is no planer head lock. I don't have a bona fide dust collecting system yet, so I bought the dust chute, which fits well around a 44 gallon Rubbermaid Brute waste can quite well; I don't have any loose dust from or clogging of the machine. The blades are not sharpenable, but are reversible, and are indexed so there is no alignment necessary. One oft heard complaint is the short life (and high replacement cost) of the blades, but I've run several hundred (square) feet of oak, maple, wenge, and bubinga and I'm still on the first side (though ready to flip them). I also had occasion to speak with Dewalt technical support to ask a few questions about the unit and they were extremely knowledable and helpful (with very short wait times to answer the phone). There was an issue with bad gear sprockets over a year ago, which have since been resolved.
I am in the process of selecting a jointer, so I can't help you from personal experience. I was going to buy the PM 54A, but decided to save up a bit longer for an 8" jointer. I'm thinking about the DJ-20, but I want to hear some feedback about the new PM PJ882 8" parallelogram way jointer (a bit cheaper on Amazon.com). Grizzly has an 8" spiral cutting head jointer G0543, which has had some recent positive reviews.
Hope this helps, Stu

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That unit does NOT have a true spiral cutterhead.
Electric Stu wrote: Grizzly has an 8" spiral cutting

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I thought the G0543 unit was a true spiral cutterhead. It has indexed, individual 4-sided carbide blade inserts arranged in four spirally-oriented rows. If this is not a "true" spiral machine, I would appreciate if you could tell me what qualifies as one.
Thanks, Stu

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Stu, I just got done reading about that unit; the author noted (correctly) that all you have is a series of straight blades, arranged in a spiral around the cutter head. The result is NOT going to be identical to the cuts from a true spiral cutterhead.....
I hope you appreciate this; I spent the last 10 minutes searching though my latest wood mags, before I found the right issue all by it's lonesome in the bedroom. It's Wood, April/May. See page 104.
Dave
Electric Stu wrote:

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Thanks, Dave. I just received the issue yesterday and hadn't gotten a chance to read it yet.
Stu
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No problemo, Stu.
Dave
Electric Stu wrote:

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On Sat, 19 Mar 2005 13:08:09 -0500, the inscrutable Electric Stu

Maybe he wants the cutters to look like the inside of a pencil sharpener. ;)
--

People will occasionally stumble over the truth, but
most of the time they'll pick themselves up and carry on.
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Are you always this clueless? There are true spiral cutterheads available through other mfgrs. sigh.
Dave
Larry Jaques wrote:

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oh, Google "oliver jointer". olivermachinery.net
Sometimes I wonder why I bother...
Dave
David wrote:

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I doubt it. A spiral is shaped like a cone. Helical cutterheads, yes. As for Larry, usually.
spake:

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It's not named correctly either.

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Because if it were, it would be called a helical stair.

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Because it is not a spiral. I just looked it up and, like a lot of words that are commonly misused, the definition of spiral has been bastardized. In my line of work, where geometric correctness is important, no one would ever interchange the terms.

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Don wrote:
...regarding "spiral" vs "helical"...

From 1a (emphasis added)... ...around a central point <while continuously receding from or approaching it>
"It" here refers to the central point (axis). The definition isn't all that well written, but is basically correct. If the stair diameter increases or decreases as the elevation changes, then it is a spiral--if it doesn't (as most) it's a helix.
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